February 22, 2018

Bonds track firmer rand as market awaits news on Jacob Zuma

12 February 2018, 02:15 | Taylor George

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Maumela said that they have written to the NEC pleading that Zuma be removed immediately, as well as calling on Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to not be threatened or ashamed to take authority and lead.

South African media say a key committee of the ruling ANC party will hold an emergency meeting Monday as the nation awaits word on whether President Jacob Zuma will resign soon.

On Sunday, Ramaphosa addressed the issue while speaking at an event commemorating Nelson Mandela's release from prison in Cape Town.

Mr. Zuma cleared his diary of weekend engagements, but Deputy President Ramaphosa is due to speak at a rally in the city on Sunday to start a year of celebrations marking 100 years since Nelson Mandela's birth. DA federal council chairperson, James Selfe, said if Zuma's demands were met by the ANC, it would be a damning indictment on Ramaphosa and an insult to South Africans.

The ANC leader said on Wednesday he and Zuma were holding direct talks over the transfer of power.

He also stands accused of helping the wealthy Gupta business family of illegally securing billions of rand in state contracts. The Democratic Alliance, South Africa's largest opposition party, has said Zuma "must be prosecuted and, if found guilty, be locked up for his crimes".

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"Because our people want this matter to be finalized, the national executive committee will be doing precisely that", he said.

Opposition parties last week had threatened a "national shutdown" in response to Zuma's refusal to resign - although it was unclear if the action would go ahead.

"Even if the ANC meeting on Monday decides Zuma needs to step down, he can still refuse because they have no legal authority", Mcebisi Ndletyana, politics professor at the University of Johannesburg, told AFP.

Zuma has not said in public whether he will step down voluntarily.

"It creates uncertainty and investors are starting to ask themselves if Ramaphosa really does have control over the ANC, and specifically the Zuma faction". President Zuma has finished his job. Then he referred to the topic that people really wanted to hear about - his confidential negotiations in recent days with Zuma over the president's exit after a scandal-marred tenure. The ANC reportedly said the group is not an official structure of the party.

ANC Gauteng spokesperson Motalatale Modiba said the provincial ANC reiterated its stance that the ANC NEC was able to resolve "the current leadership issue decisively in a manner that demonstrates that the ANC has put the interest of South Africa first".

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